Finding a new direction in life
Most of us hit a patch in our lives when we feel in need a new direction. It can happen at any point and for all kinds of reasons. Sometimes it is because of a change has been forced on us, like a relationship breakdown or loss of a job. Often it is because we realise a milestone we set for ourselves, usually in a burst of youthful enthusiasm, is unrealistic. Recognising that a long held dream is unattainable can be depressing. It can make you feel like a failure even though you have lots of other achievements of which you can be proud.
So, if you find yourself needing a new direction, where do you start? It helps to begin by taking stock of where you are now, before you plan to launch off again. This is the time for a mini-life review. Here is how to do it.
You can start by thinking about your life at home or at work. But let us start with work. There will have been times when you felt motivated and satisfied with a job well done. If this hasn’t happened recently, or in your present role, think back. Think about jobs you have done in the past. What have been your most significant achievements? What did you learn from achieving them? Now, think about when things didn’t go so well. What happened? Are there common factors between those moments? What have you learned from then?
Let us move on to your home and personal life. Are you content with the balance between your work and home? Do you have sufficient time for friends and family? What about your personal relationships? Which ones have you found really enriching? What was good about them? What about the downs? What lessons have you learned about relationships so far? What would you like to change for the future? Are you physically fit, taking some exercise and eating well? If not, what do you think the issues might be?
Looking back, do you feel there have been constraints holding you back from reaching your full potential? Are they external ones in the world around you or are they inside you, for example, lack of confidence? What would you like to change?
Goals usually change as we go through life, more so now than ever in a quickly changing world. But having goals is still a stimulus to action. Having done your mini-review, think about your goals. What might they be for the next month, three months and the next year? Think about what is going to enrich the next part of your life. How are things going to change? You don’t lose your ability to learn as you got through life. Are there new skills you would like to acquire, perhaps alongside a new career goal?
Take your goals and break them down into steps that are easy to take. Don’t try to do everything at once – allow yourself some breathing space. Record your progress and recognise your achievements - plan some treats as you move towards your goals.
Remember there is lots of help available along the way if you need it, not least from the life coaches. We are here to help. Meanwhile, I wish you every success in finding your new direction.